Most of you have probably already heard of Michael Persinger. He is a distinguished and extensively published cognitive neuroscientist at Laurentian University in Ontario. He is best known for his research with the “God Helmet,” which is supposed to give most people who wear it a non-ordinary state of consciousness often described as encountering a divine intelligence or spiritual presence. Richard Dawkins tried it and only reported feeling a bit more relaxed in his limbs. Susan Blackmore (another cognitive neuroscientist) reported having one of the most profound experiences of her life. The helmet produces a weak magnetic field that alters the neural activity in a specific brain region in the temporal lobe of the right hemisphere. Persinger sometimes sounds like a bit of a reductionist when we speaks about the implications of this helmet, but recently he gave a lecture about other experiments he has done showing the connections between the electromagnetic activity of human brains and the activity of earth’s electromagnetic field. Really fascinating stuff, especially since it is coming from a very well respected and experimentally-grounded neuroscientist.
He ends up suggesting that the brain is analogous to a radio receiver or a television. This implies that consciousness isn’t produced inside the skull, but is a non-local field within which information is shared at the speed of light (i.e., independent of space-time). He seems to suggest that his lab has developed the beginnings of a communications technology capable of reading and/or controlling minds.
I have seen plenty of other “experts” in whatever-ology present their theories about these sorts of connections, but Persinger’s has hit me at a deeper level for some reason.